Being somewhat a native of this town, I sometimes find myself being sought by out-of-town friends (and sometimes acquaintances) for some information as to what they can expect to find here i.e. what sights to see [if there’s any], activities to indulge in, etc…
And I always find myself thinking hard and deep. In reality and more often than not, I do find it hard to give a satisfactory answer. First, because I’m not really sure what they want to hear me say. Second, I am not sure what they expect they can do here. Third, I don’t think I am that knowledgeable or experienced to play guide to them. I haven’t even tried doing the white-water rafting, which is this town’s main attraction.
Yet given all that, at the start of this month, I promised myself to write something about this town. The problem now is I just don’t know where to start or what to write about.
Though it would be interesting to write about white water rafting, I feel I might not be effective doing that because as I’ve said, I have not even tried it myself.
But foodie that I am, I think I’ll start by rounding up a list of the restos found in this town that can offer delectable dishes.
Café Laguna. If you’re looking for superb Filipino cooking, I highly recommend this place. The ambience is warm and cozy, and the service is excellent. My family actually loves eating here, and we sometimes march to town to taste their scrumptious kinilaw [that’s raw fish in a concoction of vinegar, milk and some spices]. My son loves their sinigang [soup] and pinakbet [mixed veggies sautéed in shrimp paste]. Their buko-pandan is a sheer delight to the taste buds. They also serve green salad.
Bigby’s. The humble beginnings of this resto started in that old wooden house right at the heart of this city. Now, because they’re such a certified hit, they have outlets in key cities in this country. That certainly should speak a lot about their cooking but if you still want to ask me, is the food there any good? I am telling you, you bet. A little pricey but their menu offers a variety of mouth-watering dishes from their tasty quesadillas to their savory Korean beef topping. You’ve gotta try their steak, it’s guaranteed to give you pure gastronomical pleasure. And their chocolate mousse is just heavenly.
Good food is like music to the taste.
Chef Gusteau, Ratatouille
Butcher’s Best. If you’re in for some yummy barbecue, you can visit this place. They offer affordable lip-smacking barbecue of all sorts. Chicken, pork, spicy and hot, regularly-flavored. Indeed, delicious food need not be expensive.
Mandarin [Tea Garden]. If you want to relish some delicious dimsum, this place may just be for you. Though service is not too good, we still find ourselves eating occasionally here. Why, because their menu offers dishes which are a treat to the palate. From their siomai to their tasty stuffed shrimp, to the very tempting chicken’s feet, ah delectable. Their steamed fish [rice topping] is one of my favorite [and my son’s fave too]. Simply yummy.
Inilog. This may just be the only resto in this town that offers a rice-all-you-can [read: unlimited order of rice] deal to their patrons. Craving for some grilled fare? Come and visit them. Enjoy their delectable offering while you listen to a band or singer crooning country songs and ballads in the background.
Sugbaw. Fish. Shells. Sea weeds. They offer a variety of sea foods to choose from. Choose and tell them how you want them cooked, and you’ll get it. You can also opt for some grilled pork. And I might just add, with the added pleasure of eating your meal in an open-air space.
Think this is all for now as I’m getting hungrier by the minute, and just by thinking.